Gil Rider passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Zephyrhills, Fla. He was with his best friend, the love of his life, and wife of ten years, Nancy. Gil was born on June 25, 1952, in Midland, to Jack and Evelyn Rider.
Gil was part of Bullock Creek High School's class of 1970; he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps
in 1970 through 1974, serving in the Vietnam War
for a year, five months, and 24 days as a sergeant. He later graduated from both Delta College and Siena Heights University. Gil worked at The Dow Chemical Co. for 33 years, retiring in 2008 as Dow's Focal Point for Emergency Services. He was a member of the Midland Township Fire Department for 30 years, retiring as the Fire Chief in September 2012.
Gil married Nancy LaFrance on June 21, 2002 in Midland, and together they traveled all over the country via Coach RV and his Firefighter Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Gil was a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and he and Nancy volunteered with Wreaths Across America and the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. Gil was a proud Marine and Vietnam veteran
, and while he spent a tremendous amount of time championing other veterans, he had a very special place in his heart for Vietnam POW-MIA soldiers.
Gil is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters, Courtney Rider of Lansing, and Chelsea (Ryan) Murto of Swartz Creek; and granddaughters, Isabella and Gwyndolyn Murto. He is also survived by his stepson, John Yacks Jr. of Milwaukee,Wis.; stepdaughter, Courtney Yacks of Raleigh, N.C.; uncle, Ed (Marilyn) Rider; sister-in-law, Kay Rider; and â€˜brudder' Jim (Anne) Power. He was preceded in death by his beloved father, Jack Rider Sr.; his mother, Evelyn Rider; his brother, Jack Rider Jr.; and niece, Angela Rider.
Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, from the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 W. Wheeler St., with Rollie Shook officiating, and interment in Midland Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Gil's family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., and on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until time of service. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial with Patriot Guard Riders, P.O. Box 735, Grand Blanc, MI. 48480-0735* For use in Michigan. (www.patriotguard.org
). Full military honors will be presented by the Midland Area Veterans and U.S. Marine Corps.